ANNAPOLIS, Md. (PRWEB) September 07, 2018
The United States Air Force (USAF) and Joint Base Andrews (JBA), in partnership with US Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Department of the Environment, and private sector partners GreenTrust Alliance and GreenVest, are excited to announce the completion of the first-ever Umbrella Mitigation Banking Instrument (UMBI) specifically for federal and other government agency use in Maryland, signed by all parties on June 16, 2018. This document establishes a programmatic approach for the USAF and other public agencies to develop advanced compensatory mitigation fixing certainty of cost and schedule, facilitating timely permit issuance and expediting the satisfaction of their permitted requirements for planned capital improvement projects. Banking mitigation credits means that mitigation will be available when needed to advance military mission objectives. This approach also maximizes the scale of restoration and resulting land protection and efforts, creating contiguous blocks of habitat with greatly enhanced benefits compared to single, permittee-responsible projects.
Projects completed under the UMBI will reduce federal and state workload expediting the regulatory review and issuance of permits by the MDE and USACE. Additionally, projects completed under this UMBI will aid in compliance with the Federal Paperwork Reduction Act where federal regulatory staff can evaluate success and performance issues for multiple permittees at one single habitat restoration or mitigation site. In addition, federal costs are capped, and liabilities transferred through to the GreenVest the private sector operator and GreenTrust Alliance nonprofit bank sponsor, who will also serve as the long-term steward of sites restored under this program.
JBA, which houses Air Force One, along with providing strategic mission-based services essential to effective operation of US Air Force business, has a readiness compliance requirement that mandates timely and complete satisfaction of environmental permitting needs. This UMBI helps achieve that mission.
The first site to be restored under this UMBI will be the Mattawoman Creek Mitigation Site in Pomfret, Charles County.
- Over 80 acres of land were placed into conservation easement and removed from active row crop production and cattle pasture.
- Over 64 acres of wetlands will be restored, created, enhanced, or preserved which will sequester approximately 75 tons of carbon per year.
- 3,798 linear feet of perennial stream will be restored by re-establishing, historic floodplain access during more frequent storm events, stabilizing hydraulics and geomorphology and addling aquatic habitat value.
- Full integration of the wetland and stream restoration elements will occur exponentially increasing anticipated functions and values in the post construction condition. These functions include but are not limited to:
- Storm damage and flood attenuation
- Groundwater recharge and discharge
- Nutrient cycling and sequestration
- Local water quality improvement
- Wildlife habitat improvements
- This project will also create and enhance the forested wetland and stream habitat for the State-listed Threatened Selys’ Sundragon (Helocordulia selysii).
- As part of the site design, over 28,500 native trees and shrubs will be planted.
- The Mattawoman Creek Mitigation Site is located within a Tier 3 Biodiversity Conservation Network (BioNet) area. These areas are classified by DNR as “highly significant for biodiversity conservation” and are priority conservation areas that support critical species and habitats.
- All 80 acres subject to the MCMS, is protected permanently via a Conservation Easement held by GreenTrust Alliance.
Design, engineering/modeling, and permitting of the site was completed GreenVest and Princeton Hydro under contract to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Operations Division. GreenVest acted as supervising biologist and program manager for this effort delivering a high-quality design underwriting a high probability of success plus all permits needed to construct the project. GreenVest acting as bank operator and agent for the Sponsor is responsible for the construction, reporting, maintenance and monitoring of the bank site. GreenTrust Alliance, the nonprofit bank sponsor, will also serve as the long-term steward.
Often referred to as the Chesapeake Bay’s most productive tributary, the Mattawoman Creek watershed is a special part of Maryland, nestled in Prince George’s and Charles County and flowing slowly through forests and marshes into the Potomac. Over 6,000 acres (25%) of the Mattawoman Creek watershed has been protected by public ownership and various conservation and agricultural easements, which, in addition to the Mattawoman Creek Mitigation Site, help ensure that Mattawoman Creek remains a high-quality destination for outdoor recreation forever.
This project will yield the following advanced mitigation values:
- 37.913 Wetland Credits
- 1,595 Stream Credits
These credits are durable and will be available for JBA’s use where they can and will be applied to satisfy permitted impacts associated with planned capital improvement projects. Thus, providing an advanced solution for anticipated stream and wetland mitigation required to advance capital improvements needed to achieve mission ready objectives.
GreenVest, LLC is a privately held environmental development and consulting firm that’s motivated to do the right thing. Founded in 1992, GreenVest specializes in ecological restoration, mitigation services, and sustainable land planning for various clients along the East Coast, including federal and state regulatory agencies. For more information about GreenVest, contact us at http://www.greenvestus.com.